01.04.2004 - 3:52 p.m.
I was washing my hands and
idly checking out my reflection in the mirror (hmmm, maybe
a new moisturizer?) when an ominous gurgling sound emanated
from the just-flushed toilet. I glanced over to see the water
level rising slowly, and my pulse quickened.
"Stop," I said out
loud, staring at the toilet. "Please STOP." Obstinately,
the water continued to approach the rim of the lid. Panicked,
I combed my brain for toilet-related knowledge, but could only
produce Handle: Jiggling The, which proved to have no effect
on the tide of doom whatsoever.
In a frenzy, I whipped off
the lid of the tank and peered inside, hoping to find an obvious
problem or perhaps a tiny person waving a sign holding some helpful
instructions. The inner workings of the toilet tank were as inscrutable
as a car engine: some doohickeys here and there, a ball like
thing, a metal arm. I gingerly reached in and groped around blindly;
pulling the ball, pushing the doohickey, lifting the arm - and
lo, the water stopped.
I stood crouched over the toilet,
which was full enough that water had started seeping over the
brim, holding up the arm that apparently ceased the endless flow
(At this point, I will assure
you the water was just water, and not as horrifying
as you may be imagining. Still, though. Toilet water? GROSS.)
Moments passed as I considered
my situation. A plunger. I needed a plunger. I stretched mightily
to reach under the sink, managed to extract a plunger, and began
thrusting vigorously with my right hand while still holding the
magic arm with my left.
Tentatively, I let go of the
arm, hoping against hope the water would stop on its own. It
didn't. I resumed my arm-holding position.
I had exercised the only options
I could think of, and it was time to call for help. But the phone.
It was all the way out in the living room.
I began to prepare for some
Still holding onto the arm,
I reached out and pulled the towels from the rack and settled
them around the base of the toilet. I moved the wastebasket out
of the way. I threw the rug out into the hall. I took a deep
breath, let go of the hand, and ran.
Narrowly missing Cat, who figured
this was a prime opportunity to wind between my feet, I dashed
into the living room, grabbed the phone, and tore back down the
hall to the bathroom, where I quickly snatched up the arm while
dialing JB with the other hand.
"Hello?" JB answered.
"Listen," I panted, "you have to promise
you won't laugh at me."
A minute later, I found myself
sweating profusely as I strained to turn a knob under the sink.
Under JB's advice, I was trying to turn off the water supply,
but the damn thing wouldn't budge. I wrapped a towel around my
hand and gave it everything I had - and finally, with a creaking
sound, the knob tightened.
Heaving a giant sigh of relief,
I let go of the arm, and instantly water gushed into the toilet
as before. I stared in fear. This was obviously some sort of
possessed demon toilet, what was I going to do?
A dim bulb shone somewhere
in the recesses of my brain, and I turned on the sink faucet.
Nothing. I had shut off the water supply to the sink, but not
Feeling more than a little
like I was putting my finger back in the dyke, I grabbed the
arm again, and knelt on the ever-dampening floor so I could reach
one hand behind the toilet. I fumbled around endlessly until,
near-weepy with frustration, I managed to locate the knob.
I was filled with the sort
of strength mothers get when they pluck Volkswagens off their
children. "FUUUUUCK!" I howled, as I cranked the knob
And - it was over. I stood
up, my legs trembling, my back popping. The toilet water lapped
serenely against the lid. Rumpled wet towels lay everywhere.
I slowly backed away from the bathroom, shooting a nervous glance
over my shoulder at the Toilet From Hell. I wasn't going to trust
that fucker again, ever.
As it turns out, later in the
day when I ran a load of laundry, a bunch of water backed up
into the bathtub and took forever to drain, so we suspect a pipe
blockage. JB managed to get the toilet water level down, but
for now we're just going to ignore the problem since we're both
gone all week. Him: Thailand. Me? Macworld. Doesn't seem
fair, does it? Wish me luck. And have a wonderful week! Watch
out for misbehaving toilets.
comments so far.
I have moved. - 1.03.2005
Obviously, a work in progress. - 12.27.2004
Happy holidays! - 12.24.2004
Listen, I am not a complete dick, it's not like I want Joe to die alone surrounded by cats or something. - 12.23.2004
Plus I am convinced my butt is extra big when it's upside down. - 12.22.2004